African vacation – ver. 2023: Lakes Naivasha and Nakuru.

After the brief Everest Base Camp trek video interlude, I continue today with my tales from the Kenyan safari side…

Pre-safari Nairobi – done.

Ol Pejeta reservation – done.

Next up – Lakes Naivasha and Nakuru (here). First – Naivasha…

It’s around 200km to Lake Naivasha from Ol Pejeta, which took us four or five hours by road. What made the journey a pleasant one were the good quality roads: astonishingly well-built, smooth, and rather new:

Apparently the roads here are built these days by the Chinese; at least – that’s where the investment comes from. // If my memory serves me well, in neighboring Tanzania it’s the Koreans doing the investing.

Some of the minor roads aren’t quite up to scratch (rough tracks with no asphalt), but on the whole we drove on these fine specimens:

I wouldn’t say the views along the way were all that beautiful, but they sure were interesting – especially in the towns and villages we passed through: in each, stalls and little shops lined the rather busy roadsides:

Alas, poverty permeates pretty much everything – except the roads, and the contrast sometimes is striking:

The price of gasoline here came as a bit of a shock to me – used to it being three times as cheap in Russia! Europeans would be pleased though: it’s cheaper than in practically all European countries by around 30 to 40 euro cents…

The highlight of the drive: Thomson’s Falls, apparently the biggest in the region. And the internet tells me the falls are the main source of income (from the tourism they attract) for the nearest town – Nyahururu (here).

The houses up there look rather decent. Turns out they’re villas of hotel complex:

Onward we drive – without even noticing we’d crossed… the equator! ->

We finally make it to Naivasha, but I’ll start with Nakuru here and all its birds – herons and the like and other winged predators:

Plenty of pelicans too:

And a plethora of pink greater flamingoes, which fly here specially for certain gourmet maxillopods-crustaceans!

And its those gourmet entomostracans that give the flamingo the characteristic pink color of its feathers – so loaded are they with carotenoids!

There aren’t too many viewing points here, so you can view pretty much everything there is to see in an hour or 90 minutes. I’m no ornithologist – so I can’t recall the names of all of these different genuses of herons (ardea, I think) ->

Here they are, becoming ever so slightly pinker by the minute! ->

Pelicans. Majestic gliders:

The roads here clearly weren’t designed just for Homo sapiens ) ->

Lake Naivasha is better known for its hippos than birds – especially at Hippo Point! We climb into one of these here boats and off we pop for a closer look at them…

Why all the dead trees in the water? The answer to that is right there in the previous sentence: because they’re submerged in water, and many if not most trees don’t live long like that. For some reason the water level of the lake rose some time ago, and these poor trees didn’t survive. The hippopotamuses on the other hand loved having all the extra water – so much more to romp about in! >

They’re clearly used to tourists: it was as if we were invisible! ->

These cutie pies are actually… the most dangerous (to humans) species of animal living in Africa (after humans themselves, that is; oh – and mosquitos). Apparently they kill around 3000 folks every year! Accordingly, we proceeded carefully!…

They look so calm and peaceful, right? They’re actually abnormally aggressive and utterly unpredictable. So if you see ever one: hide. Don’t run like hell, as they’ll catch you up – easily. That’s if they’re on the shore of course, which they normally are of an evening. By day… let’s just say swimming’s out of the question here. Darn it. I do love a dip whenever and wherever )…

Bizarrely, though we were practically on the equator, it was quite cool when we were here. One night the temperature got down to 10°C! So if you’re ever planning on safariing around these parts – don’t forget to take your coat! Meanwhile, we carry on our boat excursion upon the lake…

Eagles dare here:

In for the kill – gotcha!

The eagle looked so masterly and invincible snatching that fish, but in the end – he lost his grip of it and it plummeted into the reeds (or whatever they are) over the way. Our… eagle-eyed guide observed all this, and steered our boat over to said dropped prey – and simply scooped up the stranded fish. It stayed with us in the boat until we parted ways – surely the guide’s family’s supper that evening right there!…

And assorted other beaut-beasts:

What a scene! ->

Btw – the submerged white building here is a former spa salon. As you can see, the water-level got the better of it. Apparently the owner is to uproot it somehow and transfer it to a dryer location…

Ashore, plenty of terrestrial wildlife. There are no big predators here, so there are plenty of ruminants and other mammals to be seen – living and propagating peaceably without the big-cat factor:

Giraffes too! ->

Another beautiful sunset! ->

The Moon put in an appearance too:

And that was that; another superb day on safari. Time to turn in for the night…

The rest of the photos from Kenya are here.

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